Versys wear out oil faster than other bike??? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Versys wear out oil faster than other bike???

Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone else notice this... This is just from my own experience and eye balling, I didn't run any Scientific test or anything...

I have been changing oil every 3000 miles. When you change your oil, the oil draining from the crankcase seem very dirty? I had owned many bikes before and I did oil changes on all of them... I noticed the oil drained from Versys seem a lot more dirty compare to oil drained from my other bikes before!!!

I did the first oil change before the bike was 500 miles with just dino oil, and then I have been using Harley Davidson Syn 3 oil 20w-50 (left over from my Harley days) for the last 3 oil changes. 1000 miles, 4000 miles and just last few day 7100 miles. For those of you not familiar, Harley Syn 3 is a full synthetic oil.

Is it because versys only take a little over 2 quart of oil? Most of my other bikes take 3.5 or more. I used to change oil on my other bike every 5000 miles and the oil doesn't even look that dirty compare to Versys...

I am using up all my Harley Syn 3 oil, I got some Amsoil and Mobil Delvac left in the garage.... Will be using those next...

Kawasaki recommended changing oil every 7500 miles, I can't imagine how the oil is like if left in the engine that long!!!

Thanks.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 05:15 AM
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You're right. I'd never go to even half of the recommended 7500 miles. That is excessive for any gasoline powered car too, and especially for such a small amount of oil handling the engine, clutch and tranny... I've just changed my Amsoil synthetic 0W-40 after 1800 miles when storing it, and it was already pretty black of carbon saturation and smelling of gas. The Versys does run progressively richer at mid to high rpm's, creating more engine wear inducing carbon, fuel dilution and acidity. At wide open throttle (slightly leaner at constant rpm), air/fuel ratio reaches a lean peak at 2800 rpm (14.5:1), then falls progressively richer to a dip at 4100 rpm (12.8:1), back up a bit (13.5:1 @ 4500-5000 rpm), then much richer from 5500 rpm (12.2:1) up to redline (11.5:1)... Good synthetic oil is better at absorbing all such contaminants and holding it, keeping the engine clean. It's certainly good to replace the 2+ quarts of oil by 3000 miles. I get more of the dirty oil out when I drain it by giving it a half-second shot of the starter after it's done dripping. After removing the filter, I let more oil out by leaning it over a bit more than the side stand will allow for a while, straighten it up to drain, lean on the other side for a while then drain again. It then takes about 2-1/3 quarts to refill with the taller oil filter...

Last edited by invader; 12-27-2009 at 09:10 AM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 08:28 AM
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2 quarts isn't a lot of oil to circulate around,so it does sully up a bit .

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 09:41 AM
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Agree with the what's been said.

Changing oil every 3000 miles is good insurance.
Draining all remaining old oil is even better for the V engine.

Thanks.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 09:48 AM
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The oil change interval in my diesel Jetta is 10,000KM in Canada, 10,000 miles in the states! I use full synthetic and change it at 5000Km in the bike.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 10:06 AM
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I broke my new '09 V according to Motoman's recommendations. There was no steady throttle for the first 1000 miles and more. Well above Kawasaki's break in RPM's too. If you read all his writings on the subject, and he writes plenty, he claims due to the superior ring sealing you get with his method you will get less blow-by from the rings hence your oil will appear cleaner when you change it. This has been the case. When I change it, it is amber in color not almost black like all my other bikes. Was this method good for the motor? Time will tell.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipco View Post
I broke my new '09 V according to Motoman's recommendations.
I agree with Motoman's theory and if I got to break in my own bike (read: enough money for a new bike in stead of second hand) I would break it in using his method.

Quote:
Time will tell.
The fact that your oil is amber in color indicates no leakage, so there is no scoring or other damage done, right?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 12:08 PM
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After extensive reading I didn't feel I was taking a big risk as his theory flies in the face of conventional wisdom. I feel good about it. The motor is quiet. No smoke out the tail. As the miles rack up we'll see.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
The oil change interval in my diesel Jetta is 10,000KM in Canada, 10,000 miles in the states! I use full synthetic and change it at 5000Km in the bike.
Red Herring, my wife and I also drive diesel VW's and change the oil every 10,000 miles. I'm at 341,221 and my wife is at 127,000 with no issues. In Europe the OCI is 18,000 on the same engine using the same oil.

Frequent oil changes is a USA myth and is highly overrated. The 3000 mile recommended oil change is an invention of the oil companies and promoted by the jiffy lube type places. Oil technology has increased to the point that even dino oil is much better than 25 years ago.
Dirty oil is a good thing, it means that the oil is doing a good job of carrying any debris too small to be caught by the oil filter. I'd rather have it carried by the oil, than collecting as sludge in the sump.

If it makes you feel better, change it often.

In my opinion and experience over 35 years and hundreds of thousands of miles and ~20 vehicles, motorcycles and various equipment it is highly unnecessary.

Has anyone done an oil analysis on the Versys to see what change interval is really necessary?
Maybe I'll spend the money and do one this summer.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 12:52 PM
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I changed the oil in my KLR every 2000 miles and it seemed pretty dirty, ride that bike for 17,000 miles. I plan to do the same with my V, I know is a waste of money changing oil that much, but I feel is better for the engine, I also added a magnetic drain plug to capture metal bits.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 02:50 PM
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I'm at about 4,000 miles on what passes for synthetic these days on my latest oil change.

I suspect that the high RPMs and low oil volume does make the oil darker faster.
Motor oil has detergents in it which keep the byproducts of combustion, the dark junk, in suspension.
As long as you don't have so much of the dark stuff that it starts coming out of suspension and depositing in the nooks and crannies if your engine, you're fine.

Another thing, if you ruin your engine from not changing the oil often enough before some chick hits you with an SUV, it will be a christmas miracle.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Everyone!

I also broke in my Versys with Motorman's method, in fact, I broke in all my past bikes with his method and not problem so far!

I also tilt my bike to one side and then the other to drain as much oil out as possible... With oil filter out of course...

I wonder if anyone else here use strictly dino oil on their versys? I have some Amsoil left but a bunch of Mobil Delvac dino only oil (bought on sale for about $8 a gallon)... Due to unemployment for almost 2 1/2 years, I might have to swtich to just dino from now on... Or do my own blend of syn and dino.

Anyone did a oil analyst either dino or synthetic? Just wondering how good the oil was at 3000 miles....

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Current bike
09 Kawasaki Versys

Previous bikes
07 Suzuki GSXR 1000
07 Yamaha FZ1
06 Harley Davidson Softail Deuce
06 BMW K1200 GT
05 Suzuki Vstrom 650
01 Yamaha Vstar 650
90 Yamaha FZR 600
7x Yamaha Enduro 125
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:43 AM
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I use a SHELL full sintetic oil and change it every 4000 km, when I drain it it is almost yellow.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JO HU View Post
I use a SHELL full synthetic oil and change it every 4000 km, when I drain it it is almost yellow.
I wonder if the oxygen sensor on the European Versys exhaust makes it run cleaner... How many liters per 100 Kms with which gasoline grade? Are you using Shell Advance Ultra 4 10W-40? Could you show us a picture of your oil when you drain it?
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 10:04 AM
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How oil looks or smells has nothing to do with its lubrication and protection properties, if you really want to know if your oil is still good and how far you can go on your oil send a sample to a lab and for about $10 you can have a full report. Try this at 2k, 3k and 4k if you want and you would know for sure what the best change interval is. A few guys over at Sport Touring. Net did some tests, IIRC they found that even near 10k the oil was still protecting the engine as well as new oil.

As for how much oil the Versys holds, 2 quarts doesn't seem like a lot, but it is ONLY a 650, that is just over 1/2 a litre, think about how your 2, 3 or 5 or more liter car only holds 5 quarts and 2 quarts for the engine size seems like a lot.

Of course cars do not run the oil through the tranny and clutch, so some life shortening could be expected, however changing the oil sooner than 2500 or 3000 miles is more a comfort thing than a required thing.

Another issue to consider is that Kawi offers a multi year unlimited mileage warranty and that warranty is based on the 7500 mile oil change spec based on dino oil, do you really think they are betting the engine is not suffering wear at this change interval? My guess is no, my guess the really smart engineers at Kawi have run countless tests to see how long the oil really lasts under the average riding condition and made the specification accordingly. Synthetic oil only increases the length of the protection.

Last edited by marc11; 12-26-2009 at 10:08 AM.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blipco View Post
I broke my new '09 V according to Motoman's recommendations. There was no steady throttle for the first 1000 miles and more. Well above Kawasaki's break in RPM's too. If you read all his writings on the subject, and he writes plenty, he claims due to the superior ring sealing you get with his method you will get less blow-by from the rings hence your oil will appear cleaner when you change it. This has been the case. When I change it, it is amber in color not almost black like all my other bikes. Was this method good for the motor? Time will tell.
I did the "ride it like you stole it" break-in too. Over 9,000 rpm (but not steady) on the ride home from the dealer. My oil (Mobil 1 car, 15w-50) comes out looking not-too-bad amber when I remove it at 5,000 miles.

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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 04:09 PM
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 08:56 PM
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Modern oil will have no problem going 7500 miles in the Versys.We have been brain washed and frightened by oil company marketing that makes us think we may kill our engines.Kawasaki has a lot to lose if we have engines that don't last,as does all vehicle manufacturers.My uncle is a petroleum engineer,he buys what ever correct specified petroleum base oil that is on sale, or least expensive.He has owned very expensive cars and doesn't rush changing early.His belief is that a lot of money and resources are wasted on excessive oil changes.Mobile1 and new filter every 7,500,I sleep good.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-26-2009, 10:25 PM
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An oil change is not that expensive for the Versys. I could see the argument if it was...



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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 12:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
The oil change interval in my diesel Jetta is 10,000KM in Canada, 10,000 miles in the states! I use full synthetic and change it at 5000Km in the bike.
My VW diesal has a recommended change interval of 16K km with synthentic. They only recommend 10-40 diesal rated synthetic for it.

From what I know, the oil filter is what keeps solid particals out of the oil. Carbon in the oil won't cause wear. The oil is changed because it breaks down with heat over time and looses some of its lubrication properties.

Consumer Reports did a extensive study a few years back by putting various oils in NY taxi cabs with blue printed engines and running some of them with with the recommended oil changes, some with shorter intervals and some with longer intervals for ~150K+ miles. Afterwards they took the engines appart and measured wear. Their conclusion was that there was not any detectable difference between name brand oils and no advantage to earlier changes. With the recommended change interval there was no improvement with synthetic although synthetic performed better when the oil was only changed every 15K miles.

Last edited by twowheels; 12-27-2009 at 01:00 AM.
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